This year marks the 19th year for the annual Angora Goat Show in Rhinebeck. The show will take place on Saturday, October 15th at 10:30 am. Both registered white and naturally colored goats will be shown. The Saturday show features an "In and Out" category with goats being shown "In" their fleece on Saturday. Those goats are then sheared Saturday evening and shown again on Sunday morning "Out" of their fleece. The fleece is judged "in the bag." The three scores, in the fleece, out of the fleece and the fleece in the bag are tallied and the highest score wins!
Angora goats originate from the middle east, specifically from near the Ankara region of Turkey. In the 1850s the goats were imported to the United States, to the area around North and South Carolina. Eventually, the Texas geography and climate proved to be the ideal setting for these goats to prosper. Angora goats also tolerate living in other climates, but a little more care is needed in ensuring proper housing during inclement weather. The fiber produced by these animals is called mohair. Today, the US is the second largest producer of mohair in the world, second only to South Africa.
The Angora Goat show, that takes place during the Sheep and Wool Festival, showcases goats from around the Northeast and Central Atlantic States. Each year goats from Maine to Virginia and as far west as Missouri, are registered for and attend the show. A judge, usually from Texas, an expert in breeding, raising, evaluating and showing Angora Goats judges the show. Goats are evaluated for body structure and fiber characteristics, with the overall score being 50% based on body and 50% based on fiber. Premiums and ribbons are awarded. The festival offers a unique opportunity to see many different goats and goat breeders in one central location, and to take advantage of the knowledge these breeders have acquired from years of animal husbandry.
In addition to the goat show, a fleece show and sale are also included in the schedule. Fiber is sheared from the animal and offered for show and sale. This is another excellent opportunity to watch and learn as the judge evaluates each individual fleece and explains its merits. Ribbons and premiums are award for the top placing entries.